Virginia Beach Assault Penalties

If someone is facing Virginia Beach assault charges, they will want to start building a defense case. They may be wondering what the next steps are and how they should proceed. A person charged with assault should consult an experienced Virginia Beach assault attorney immediately.

Assault charges are serious offenses in Virginia Beach and can have long-term impacts. You will want to consult an assault attorney who can represent you in court, and do everything in their power to reduce penalties. A local lawyer understands the local policies and procedures for Virginia Beach assault penalties.


Assault is a misdemeanor so it carries the possibility of up to 12 months in jail. If a person assaults a law enforcement officer, the case becomes a felony and there are a mandatory six months in jail. Virginia Beach assault penalties are straight forward and standard.

If someone is convicted, it goes on his or her criminal record. Often, a good lawyer can help an individual put together a defense and keep this off their record.

In some states, there are diversion programs or alternative sentencing options for first-time offenders. In Virginia Beach for simple assault, first offenders do not have those options. Virginia has a domestic assault where if the victim is a family or household member or if someone has a child in common with the victim and him or her to have committed assault, there is a first offender program that allows it to be kept off the record.

Evidence for Assault

They have to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that it’s just a simple assault, that there were threats of bodily harm made to put a person in fear of suffering or being attacked. If it’s assault and battery, they have to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the purported victim was indeed suffered unwanted hostile contact and that it wasn’t a self-defense situation.

Domestic Assault

Assault charges are different than domestic assault offenses. It’s basically the same as a regular assault and battery but the only difference is that the victim is either a close family member or is living with the victim, or the victim and the complainant are living together, or the victim and defendant have a child in common.

Available Defenses or Mitigating Factors

One of the issues that can occur is if the officer doesn’t identify themselves, so the person had no way of knowing that this was a police officer. Often times, in these cases, people committing the assault are intoxicated and/or under some substance and while that isn’t a defense, it is something that can be used in mitigation later especially if the person has no criminal record and the situation was simply getting out of control and it was not something the individual does normally.

Mitigating Factors

The behavior of the victim can have a factor in this. If the person injured instigated the situation, the judge can take that into consideration.

Whether or not there were any significant injuries is something that is also mitigation and then, someone’s state at the time of the offense is something judges will consider. If an individual has a clean record but they were intoxicated, the judge is going to consider that.

Aggravated Factors

If a person has a bad criminal record, that can aggravate. If there were severe injuries, that can aggravate it. If an individual was acting with extreme violence, that is something that the judge can take into consideration, too.

Consulting a Legal Team

Virginia Beach takes assault offenses very seriously, and assault charges can have long-term impacts on a person’s reputation, employment opportunities, and public records. A knowledgeable attorney can assess the case, and determine the best course of action for their client.

If you are facing assault charges, you will want an experienced attorney to represent you. A good lawyer will understand the local policies. They can help you if the judge is deciding your Virginia Beach assault penalties.